North Carolina Conference on Visual Impairment & Blindness

February 28, 2010

The 2010 NCCVIB is proud to present Ike Presley as our key-note speaker.  Mr. Presley is part of the great staff at the American Foundation for the Blind and works as a Project Manager who routinely develops professional development opportunities for vision professionals around the country.  Mr. Presley has extensive experience and expertise in the area of assistive technology for the visual impaired.

Conference Date: March 26 and 27, 2010

Location: The campus of the Governor Morehead School for the Blind

Registration and vendor displays will be held at the GMS Gymnasium

303 Ashe Ave

Raleigh, NC 27606

(919) 733-6192

Friday March 26

1:00 to 4:00 PM Registration and Vendor Session

3:30 to 8:00 PM Concurrent Sessions and Meeting

Saturday, March 27

8:30 AM to 4:30 PM Concurrent Sessions

For more info,


Standard Treatments for Macular Degeneration

February 22, 2010

There are many advanced treatments for patients with wet and dry macular degeneration, including injectable drug therapy, photodynamic therapy, laser treatment, and surgery.

Lifestyle Changes: Taking vitamins or supplements may help prevent dry macular degeneration.  Generally speaking, people who have high levels of antioxidants including vitamins E and C, the carotenoid beta-carotene, and the minerals zinc and selenium (AREDs)are at much lower risk of developing this condition.

Laser therapy:  A high-energy laser beam destroys abnormal, leaky blood vessels beneath the macula. The procedure is used to prevent further damage to the macula and halt continued vision loss for as long as possible.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT)
: Visudyne, a light sensitive medicine, is injected into the patient’s blood stream and collects in the problematic blood vessels under the macula. A cold laser is then shone into the eye. This activates the medicine, causing it to create blood clots that block the leaky blood vessels, thus helping to preserve vision.

Macular translocation surgery
: This surgery relocates the fovea, the center of the macula responsible for sharp vision, away from the abnormal blood vessels and places it above healthy tissue. This surgery can be successful for preserving vision, and in some instances improving vision, if the vision loss is recent, the extent of unhealthy tissue is limited and the tissue around the fovea is healthy.

Drugs: Vascular endothelial growth factor antagonists (Anti VEGF) are injected directly into the eye, and may help stop or slow the proliferation of abnormal blood vessels. They are commonly used for treating wet macular degeneration.

Implantable optical devices: A miniature telescopic device implanted into the eye may improve visual acuity and quality of life in people with very advanced macular degeneration. The device helps to enlarge objects in the central part of the visual field.

Olive Oil protects against Macular Degeneration

February 22, 2010

A Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of the most common cause of poor eyesight in older people, according to new Australian research.

A study from the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) found that people who consume at least 100 millilitres of olive oil a week are almost 50 per cent less likely to develop macular degeneration than those who eat less than 1 millilitre per week.

The study also found that people who eat other foods which are rich in omega-3 fatty-acids, such as fish and nuts, are 15 per cent less likely to develop macular degeneration.

The report’s author, Dr Elaine Chong said olive oil contains a number of protective elements that contribute to eye health.

“Olive oil is rich in powerful antioxidants like vitamin E. It also contains an anti-inflammatory component, similar to ibuprofen, which helps protect the blood vessels in the eye,” said Dr Chong.

“A diet rich in olive oil and other foods containing omega-3 fatty acids such as oily fish varieties like salmon and tuna, and nuts may help protect your eyes against diseases such as [macular degeneration].”

More Mouse-Style Reader-Magnifiers

February 16, 2010

Shenzen Deemal Technology Co of Guandung, China has developed three models of mouse -style Reader-Magnifier as a source for CCTV magnification. Their web site does not yet have prices.

Maxi-Aids has Hundreds of Low Vision Cooking Assistives.

February 11, 2010

Maxi- Aids has hundreds of cooking assistives that take a lot of the difficulty and danger out of cooking if you have low vision. There are speaking kitchen scales,  talking food containers, special appliances, oven heat guards, safety gloves for use while carving and cutting, etc.

Ozone Treatment for Retinitis Pigmentosa

February 8, 2010

A treatment recently developed in Cuba for Retinitis Pigmentosa whereby 200 cc’s of blood is collected, ozonated, and is reinfused into the patient on 15 consecutive days was found to increase contrast sensitivity, enhance color perception, augment glare recovery, facilitate function in low light, and in some cases expand the visual field. If repeated every 4-6 months it is claimed that progression of the disease can be slowed or stabilized.

This article was published in the Ann. Ophthalmology, 1998; 30(3): 161-163 
and the author is continuing to provide treatments to his patients here in the US. 
Please contact Dr. Robert Marmer for more information if you are interested in this therapy in the United States.

Low Cost & Free Online Tools for Low Vision Assistance

February 8, 2010 Visitors search for information to cite as research although it cannot be downloaded. The font can be changed in size or style to accommodate any visual impairment. American Foundation for the Blind offers this free Web publication, published every other month. Visitors can access current issues by clicking the issue date in the upper left corner or find back issues in the upper right corner of the screen. Free downloads of software are available for vision impaired individuals. A website management tool is included. Washington State School for the Blind offers free downloads of educational software for teachers, parents, and students. This site offers free trial demos of many programs. Funk in the Trunk is a free full-version download of a virtual car stereo, which teens will love. Visitors can download free 15-day demos of gaming software such as blackjack, free cell, memory, and word plays. Each software product is available for sale at $20.00 or less. This site offers descriptions of software and hardware products available to aid people with low vision, including voice recognition software, scanning, and text-to-speech programs. Visitors can download the Key2Speak program which reads anything typed on the keyboard. The cost is $19.95. Visitors will find descriptions of low-vision aids including magnifiers and voice recognition software. This site offers a free demo of MAGic 9.0, a screen magnification program.

More info at